Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) is an architecture, interior design, and planning firm with a thoughtful
design vision and a dynamic national imprint. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, SCB is
recognized as one of the nation’s leading designers of urban residential buildings, having completed
design and construction of more 105 high-rise multi-family residential buildings. One of the current
trends in urban residential design is “micro-units”, small, studio-apartments. What is “small” differs
from city to city, but in Chicago, a micro-unit is typically 350 square feet or less in size. A major key
to successful micro-unit design is efficient space usage, using every square inch to include all of the
features a person expects to have at home. Many micro-units feature built-in storage and flexible
furniture, furniture that can serve a variety of functions.
Design a single piece of furniture that combines the function of at least three pieces of furniture. This
object must serve the main purpose of saving space. Build a digital model, and be sure it showcases
all the functions of your piece.
Identify the problem
• Read “The Challenge” above.
• Research micro apartment design & combined furniture.
• What are some traditional space saving techniques?
Brainstorm & Analyze
• List out the furniture in your home, explore different combinations
• What is the main purpose of each piece of furniture?
• Make a study model of your brainstormed designs.
• What materials could you use?
Get Feedback & Improve
• Ask your teacher, friends, family, neighbors, what they think of your design.
• Get professional feedback at CAF’s Teen Open Studios